Emperor
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk


5.0
classic

Review

by psycho888999 USER (20 Reviews)
March 25th, 2009 | 31 replies | 5,440 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Emperor's crowning achievement. Anus.com doesn't know what they are talking about.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

I am going to jump on the bandwagon and proclaim, (among millions of others.) that this is THE definitive album for the symphonic black metal genre. Make no mistake, this is a blatantly more mainstream oriented album than In the Nightside Eclipse. It's more accessible in many ways, and the musicianship has been stepped up several notches due to the addition of Trym and Ihsahn's matured song writing skills.

The production in one of cleanest I have ever heard, in black metal- in a sharp and piercing sort of way, it's even cleaner than some of Dimmu's offerings. but it's also kind of flat- not too far removed from Naglfar's mid career releases with a little more meat. The triggered drums are sharp and high in the mix, the rhythm guitars float somewhere in the midsection, and the keyboards compete for dominance with the lead guitars. It also might be just me, but the bass stands out on almost the same level as the rhythm guitars, but it might be simply due to the fact that all the instruments are pretty much on one and the same level, causing a sort of flatness in the music. Somehow, this doesn't work to the band's detriment (unlike Naglfar), instead, it stands to show every single member's contribution to every piece, creating a quality experience even with crappy ear phones. It's a peculiar way they produced this album, but it works.

The songs themselves are 'micro symphonies' that are melodramatic in nature, but still play out in the same nihilistic manner as In the Nightside Eclipse without degenerating into cheesiness. There are moments of 'heroic' blasting keyboards and almost pleasant sounding guitars, but these only serve as interludes into discordant, contemplative tri-tone interval based riffs that pulse with the barely contained energy of inevitably evolving into sickening parodies of neoclassical melody. The presence of clean vocals are also increased quite notably, making notable appearances in songs such as With Strength I Burn, and the end of Thus Spake the Night Spirit.Trym blasts and kicks the *** out of his drum kick as the seemingly overplayed patterns give a rumbling 'earthquake' feel, lending to the epic atmosphere- it's done like Behemoth, but better and more tasteful. The keyboards sound like an actual symphony rather than the casio sounding tinny ones in their previous effort. Ihsahn's light-on-their-feet neoclassical guitar riffs flutter their way across the songs effortlessly, possessing the ability to go from sounding like crushing chainsaws to instruments of dark majestic triumph. The shrieks are throatier and veering dangerously close to Soilwork's fry screaming lead singer, but they work with the music when Ihsahn decides to take his voice to higher pitches. The same can't be said for his midtone though, since too much of his normal voice shows through his 'froggy croak' as I like to call it. (this shows like a sore thumb in his later solo efforts such as angL) Despite the hit-or-miss nature of Ihsahn's peculiar vocals, the music comes together beautifully and manages to set the bar incredibly high in terms of pure 'epicness' and musicianship. So far, nothing I've heard has come even close to this release in those regards, (except Redemption Process and some of Menhir's stuff.)

In closing, if you are a self respecting metal fan, you WILL get this album. That's right, it's an imperative. This is music at it's peak. I may sound very fan boyish, but I think I speak for a large majority of the metal community when I say THIS ALBUM RULES.



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bigdickedguy (4.5)
Simply breathtaking...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
psycho888999
March 25th 2009



11 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Please note that my computer scrambled up some of my words when I uploaded this, (some retarded message in bold appeared on my screen stating that 'something' has failed to get through) :/ so some parts might sound like gibberish.

Altmer
March 25th 2009



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nightside is better, fantastic record though

McP3000
March 25th 2009



3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nightside is better. decent record though

illmitch
March 25th 2009



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this record is decent, but I would hardly call it an essential...I just don't like symphonic black metal. Nightside is easily the best Emperor record IMO.

Hawks
March 25th 2009



35647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It pretty much is essential for anyone trying to get into black metal or symphonic black metal. And I agree, In the Nightside Eclipse is better.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

BallsToTheWall
March 25th 2009



44196 Comments


Great review, definitely better than Nightside.

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

illmitch
March 25th 2009



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah I guess if you're talking for people trying to get into the genre maybe, I hadn't thought about that. I wouldn't call Dimmu Borgir - Death Cult Armageddon a black metal classic, but they basically got me into black metal.

Hawks
March 25th 2009



35647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Exactly. Although for Dimmu I would say that their essential album is either Stormblast or Enthrone Darkness Triumphant.

illmitch
March 25th 2009



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'd say Stormblast is probably the album I enjoy from them the most, but Enthrone Darkness Triumphant is probably more definitive of their sound since then.

Hawks
March 25th 2009



35647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Agreed. Both are classic symphonic black metal albums IMO.

BallsToTheWall
March 25th 2009



44196 Comments


I would say Dimmu Bogir is hardly essential tbh, although both of their newer records i have suck massively.This Message Edited On 03.25.09

Hawks
March 25th 2009



35647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well not the whole band, but some of their early albums might be essential for someone trying to get into symphonic black metal.

BallsToTheWall
March 25th 2009



44196 Comments


One should skip Dimmu's purpleness and basically get NOK-TUR-N-AL M-ORT-U-M instead.

Hawks
March 25th 2009



35647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well yeah you could always do that too lol.

BallsToTheWall
March 25th 2009



44196 Comments


Nothing like a little NS to rev up your morningThis Message Edited On 03.25.09

Hawks
March 25th 2009



35647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Now that you brought it up, I haven't listened to any Nokturnal Mortum in a long ass time.

rasputin
March 26th 2009



14540 Comments


nvmThis Message Edited On 03.26.09

Wizard
March 26th 2009



19343 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Tied for best Emperor record. "Ensorcelled by Khaos" and "The Loss and Curse of Reverence" contain some of the best symphonic moments of the genre. Review needs more justification for a 5 rating.

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illmitch
March 26th 2009



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i just think symphonic black metal is kinda fruity

BallsToTheWall
March 26th 2009



44196 Comments


123. I like symphonic metal but it doesn't really bode well in black metal as it does in bands like Therion and Lacrimosa.



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